Wife, Mummy, Nurse: 2012

20 December 2012

Blessings {Food}

Lately, I have been getting jealous of others, especially when it's hearing the good news that a friend is expecting or when a friend tells me her husband has another job in order to better provide for their family.  Don't get me wrong-I'm happy for my friends, but also hurt because I long for another child and hurt because Drew tells me-not now due to finances.  I so easily forget the blessings that God has given me.  One such blessing hit home tonight.  Food.

I have never gone hungry because of lack of food.  Tonight, I went to Shoppers, a nearby grocery store.  A store I rarely go to, less than 10 times the last year, but went because I knew they carry Alpen, a muesli that is made in England.  I'm putting it in my dad's stocking on Christmas Eve.

After I put Charis in the shopping cart, I was approached by a woman telling me she had lost her job and would I buy a stuffed animal so that she could buy a meal for her family.  I told her, "I don't have any cash one me."  She said, "I'll take food."  I told her I would and asked her if she needed anything special; she said, "Any food will do.  My children are hungry.  They'll eat anything."

As I walked into the store, I fought back tears.  I have not had to suffer lack of food. God has provided for Drew and I at exactly the right moment every single time.  I had no idea what to buy-so I got bananas, apples, rice, beans, chicken, and a few other things for her.  While I looked around, I was regretting not asking her if she had a stove to cook or not.  I paid for the groceries and gave the woman my shopping cart after taking Charis and our bag out.  I invited her to church, and she gave me a stuffed animal.

I got in the car weeping.  Every time I'm jealous, I'm coveting, and that sin put Christ on the cross to rescue me.  I also realized how thankful I am for the deacons at my church; they are servants and have shown mercy {Acts 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3}.  I am thankful for Christ, not only is He my Savior, but He has shown me grace and mercy in providing for us.  When I got home, I gave Charis a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and continued to weep as I thanked God for the food.

An hour later, I found myself coveting again.  How quickly I forget, but I have a Savior who came to earth, lived as a perfect man amid imperfect people, died in my place and in the place of all Christians, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.  I am seen as righteous in God's site, even though I don't deserve it.  My prayer is that God will continue to provide for use, provide for the woman and her family, and help me draw near to Him, instead of my idols.

19 December 2012

Cashmere Neckwarmer {Yarn Along}

Right now, I'm rather annoyed at myself.  My camera battery died, and I can't find the charger, so the Yarn Along will have to be posted without photos of my projects.

Remember when I posted I was knitting a gift for someone, but really disliked knitting it because of the yarn I was using.  Well, after not making ANY progress, I decided to frog the neckwarmer and start over with different yarn Berroco Peruvia Quick yarn.  It feels SO MUCH BETTER.  I've made more progress on it in one day than I did with the other one over four weeks ago.  I enjoyed this on Pinterest:

Source: Uploaded by user via Robyn on Pinterest

I have been listening to The Brethren by John Grisham.  Every time, I read Grisham I wonder, "Why don't I read him more often?"  I'm at the point where the judges have figured out who Al is, and I'll listen to it more in the car today.

How is your Christmas knitting coming? 
Have you read Grisham?
What are you reading or knitting this week?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

16 December 2012

{Brief} Recent Thoughts

On Friday, I was contentedly teaching a friend how to knit, unaware of what was going on in Connecticut.  At 4:00 PM, I drove home while listening to The Brethren and remained uninformed about the days events.  I arrived home and put my baby in bed, turned on my computer, logged onto the internet, saw the news, and started weeping. I was crying for the parents who sent their children off to school-not knowing that morning was the last day they would see their children alive.  I started praying-praying for the loved ones, family, friends, and community in Newtown, Connecticut. Suddenly, my cares seemed minuscule to what many others were feeling.  

It made me realize more that we live in a sinful world.  Everyone is sinful-myself included.  We need to be ready because at any time God may call us from this world. God calls us to repent of our sins.  Unless we repent, we too will ultimately perish. We need to be fleeing to Christ because He is Savior and heals the broken hearted.  

It made me realize that Drew and I need to be diligent about continuing family worship and teaching Charis about the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.  We need to preach Christ daily to each other and read His word.  

Have you repented of your sins and believe that Jesus Christ is LORD?  If not, run to God while there is still time.  I cried at least two more times on Saturday and while doing so, I prayed for the parents of the 20 children and the families of the 7 adults-that God will give them the peace that only He can give.

14 December 2012

The Blue Disco Dot Giveaway {Irresistibly Green}

wet bag cloth diaper giveaway

With 2013 fast approaching, it's time for one last giveaway!! Celebrate the coming new year with a blue dot disco and get ready to party.   Irresistibly Green has one last giveaway planned for 2012 and will be giving away a blue disco dot package with a Wahmies Deluxe one size pocket diaper and two matching wet bags.

The Wahmies Deluxe with Hydro Assure is a one size pocket diaper with a bamboo viscose insert and a bamboo lining on the interior of the diaper. The Regular size measures approximately 13" x 15", and will hold up to 6-8 diapers, depending on the size. The large wet bag measures approximately 16" x 20" and can hold an entire days's worth of cloth diapers. The large bag also has a durable handle with a clip for easy carrying or hanging on a bar or door handle. This funky matching set is a great addition to any stash!

Total value: $54.95

This giveaway is open until New Year's Eve. Enter to win below. Open to U.S./CAN. Must be 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Giveaway Ends 12/31/2012.

*Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize ships directly from Irresistible Green.

13 December 2012

Gifts for the Breastfeeding Mom {#BFBlogHop}

The first few things that came to mind for breastfeeding moms, would actually apply to any mom.

  • Make the family a meal.  They may be getting a lot of meals from family and friends, so make one that can be frozen, such as chili, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, etc.
  • Offer to go over and clean.
  • Offer to bring take out food to the hospital after the birth.  Have you had hospital food?  This is a must.  I've already told Drew that I will be getting take out Chinese food delivered.  
A few other suggestions are:

Nipple cream

Helps sooth sore, cracked nipples and aids in healing.

Nursing pads

Either disposable or cloth.  Helps with leaking.

Small wetbag

If getting cloth nursing pads, this can be used to hold dirty pads.

Ball canning jar

Reminds the mother that they need to drink often in order to stay hydrated and maintain milk supply.

Place the above products in the ball canning jar and give as a gift to the breastfeeding mother.

What other gifts can you think of that a breastfeeding mother would like?
Join us for the #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth.

For more breastfeeding supplies, check out Diaper Junction or Happy Baby Company.
Diaper Junction and Happy Baby Company are both affiliate links.

12 December 2012

Another Pair of Kanoko Pants {Yarn Along}

On Saturday, we had a baby shower at church for another church member.  Her due date is late February/early March.  She's planning on cloth diapering; so, I thought that I would knit her some newborn longies.  I planned on having them finished on Saturday, but I did not plan on being sick.  As a result, I started knitting them on Friday.  Oh well.

Many people say the Kanoko pants are not roomy for cloth diapers, which I took into account by adding short rows and increasing the seed stitch rows in the pants.  I also added a gusset.  As you can see in the picture, I could not find my stitch markers and made do with a SoftBums key chain.  I completed the kitchener stitch this AM and will pick up 4 stitches on each leg.

Please go vote for my Inappropriate Elf {#87}-voting can be done daily.  My original blog post can be found here.  To the Anonymous commenter: First, Charis did not see.  She was sleeping.  It's after she woke up that I told her the Elf was "naughty".  I meant to just unravel it, but it was so matted and felted together that there was no hope in saving the yarn for another project.  Second, this was meant to be funny; my husband was cracking up when he saw the photographs. I could have easily done a very crude Elf, but I don't think those are funny.  For those who are wondering, I did not spend hours knitting this "blanket".  At Thanksgiving, my MIL gave me a bag of yarn which contained part of a sweater, and she knew my plans of unraveling the sweater and was fine with my grand scheme.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

11 December 2012

Health {Gratituesday}


Last Tuesday morning, Drew started getting sick, and he threw up.  Then Tuesday night, I started getting an upset stomach.  On Wednesday morning, my stomach was not nauseous, but I was so tired and slept until 12 PM.  Drew watched Charis.  I felt horrible; since I slept in, Drew was not able to work on his dissertation like he usually does in the morning.  Then around 3 PM, I thought I was going to be sick.  Charis would try to climb on me, and I kept pushing her away, which I HATED and felt bad. We sat in front of the TV watching Peter Rabbit and Anne of Green Gables.

Drew came home, and I headed straight to bed, but didn't sleep well.  By 2 AM, the stronger feelings of nausea passed!!  But, felt like a truck hit me.  My body was horribly achy.  I could not sleep, so I logged on Facebook, but logged off and kept thinking of Psalm 34...
At all times I will bless the LORD, In praise my mouth employ... Taken from The Book of Psalms for Singing
But must confess to thinking, "How can I bless God when I feel so sick?"  Then my mind went to how weak I am in my faith.  Christ came to earth and SUFFERED so that I could be saved, and yet, I'm having a hard time blessing Him.

By Thursday night, I was feeling SO much better, that I ate half a pancake.  On Friday morning, I was able to eat and do laundry, but I easily got lightheaded and dizzy since I had not eaten for the last 2+ days.

Other good things that happened:
Charis did not get sick!!
Drew and I were able to go to his Christmas work party on Friday.
On Friday, Charis spent the night at a friends' house from church.
On Saturday, Charis and I were able to go to a friend's baby shower.
I found a punch recipe that I actually like {Recipe will come later in January}.
We were able to worship the King of Kings on Sabbath. 

What are you thankful for this week?
Join me at Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday.

09 December 2012

Late for the #BFBlogHop

I missed the #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth last week due to the flu.  Trust me, I would have preferred to do almost anything else, but instead I was miserable. Thursday's topic was the Gifts of Breastfeeding, so I thought I would highlight what the bloggers wrote.

Jeniffer at Sisters 'N Cloth speaks of the gifts of bonding with your baby, transfer ability of breast milk, and the privilege she has sharing her breast milk because of over supply.
And finally, one of my favorite things about breastfeeding is that there are times when a woman can make more than enough for her baby and give some to another baby who needs it.  Right now, I'm blessed to be one of those women.  While I've had oversupply issues, sometimes it can be a good thing.  And when I'm able to give some of my milk to a sweet baby boy who would otherwise be eating formula all the time and then hear that he gobbled it up, it makes me thankful that I can share my milk.
Kitties and Kiddos writes about the silence she enjoys while breastfeding, the fewer dishes, and the moments of bonding with her son.

Nataline at The Nurse Practitioner Mom write 10 gifts she has received because of breastfeeding.  My favorite is:
It may have saved my daughter’s life when she got pertussis at 3 weeks old because of the antibodies that are passed through breast milk from mother to baby.  And reduced countless other illnesses as well.

What are some additional gifts?
Join us on Thursday and Friday.  
We will be discussing Gifts to Give a Breastfeeding Mom. 

08 December 2012

Unraveling and Cutting a Baby Blanket {#InappropriateElf}

You may have heard about the Elf on the Shelf.  Charis now has one, which she affectionately calls, "Doll. Naughty."  Why does she call the Elf naughty?  Because the Elf did something VERY bad today.

I was going out and told the Elf to keep an eye on the Christmas gifts and make sure Charis did not open them.  This is the account what followed the conversation...

While I am out, the Elf proceeded to open Christmas gifts.

I return from my trip to the mailbox and found the baby blanket unraveled and cut to shreds.  Hours of work gone down the drain!!!  Off with his head I say.

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  If so, how do you like it?
Go check out the entries for the 2012 Inappropriate Elf Contest
and vote for me #87.  Thanks!!! 

07 December 2012

CJ's Unique Boutique {#GreenChristmas}

Winter is coming and for me that means very dry skin, especially when I've worked in hospitals and have to wash my hands many times during the day.  I would have a horrible time finding a product that would nourish my hands and sooth them.  So, I was so excited to discover CJ's BUTTer®.  Not only can it be used for those with dry skin hands, but it's cloth diaper safe.

CJ's Unique Boutique has a wide range of natural family skincare products, including CJ's BUTTer® Stick, CJ's BUTTer® Original, CJ's BUTTer® Plus, plus many more options.  I was thrilled when CJ's Unique Boutique agreed to sponsor me for the Green Christmas Giveaway Hop.

Facts about CJ's BUTTer® Original

  • The only ingredients are shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lanolin, beeswax, cocoa butter, Vitamin E (derived from soy) and gluten-free colloidal oatmeal.  If you choose to get yours scented, then fragrance or essential oils are added.
  • It's cloth diaper safe.
A few things I enjoyed:
  • How well it moisturized my hands.  I am a RN, so when I work 12 hours days, I am CONSTANTLY washing my hands.  So much, that they are often dry and chapped when leaving work.  CJ's  BUTTer® helped significantly.
  • The scents.  Out of the scents I was sent, my favorite was Pink Sugar, with Nomad being a close second.  Viva La Juicy was a little bit strong for my taste.

Have you tried CJ's BUTTer®?  What scents would you love to try?

I was sent four samples of CJ's BUTTer®-
in scents Tuscan Herb, Pink Sugar, Viva La Juicy, and Nomad-
for the purpose of this review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

01 December 2012

Merry Fluffy Christmas {#FluffyXmas}

Welcome to the 3rd annual Merry Fluffy Christmas Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop; hosted by And Then There Were More.  This year there are over 50 blogs participating and each blog has a giveaway of at least $50 or more.  My giveaway consists of 6 Woolzies dryer balls, a "Bee-Happy" one size bamboo velour Tushie Ties prefold, and a Bright yellow Sweet Pea prefold.  After you enter the giveaway below, be sure to click through the linky entering giveaways on other blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woolzies Dryer Balls {#FluffyXmas}

Living in an apartment using coin operated dryers has it's drawbacks.  There used to often be times that I had to put a one or two more quarters in the dryer in order to make sure my clothes were completely.  I had not yet heard of wool dryer balls.  When I first started reading about wool dryer balls, I was skeptical that they could actually reduce drying time.

I was thrilled to discover Woolzies dryer balls.  Woolzies are pure handmade wool dryer balls.  They:
  • Save money
  • Reduce static
  • Are PVC free
  • Natural: They don't contain chemicals like fabric softener.
  • Hypo-allergenic: The wool does not shed or directly touch your skin 
  • Save time and energy
  • Are unscented
I have been using Woolzies for over 2 months.  I have not been disappointed. The drying time has decreased; I no longer have to put an extra quarter in when we dry towels.  Plus, they have to bonus of being able to be used to dry cloth diapers.  I was surprised by how quiet they are; I often forgot they were in the dryer.  I would have to hide them from my daughter because she tried to claim them for herself a few times.

Woolzies are able to be purchased for $35.99.

Have you used wool drying balls? What was your experience like?

Learn more about Woolzies on their Facebook page or Twitter account.

I was sent six Woolzies dryer balls for the purpose of this review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

29 November 2012

Roadtrips and Breastfeeding {#BFBlogHop}

The holidays are here.  During which, many people travel near and far to see family and friends.  Charis was 4 weeks old when we first drove to see our family in Pennsylvania.  During which, I quickly learned to always keep a few things on hand to make traveling with a breastfed baby easier.

Baby carriers: The first few months Charis was alive, I used a Moby wrap, but once she hit 14-16 lbs., I switched over to the Boba.  It was easy because I was still able to be out while keeping my daughter close to me.  Some women have also breastfed while wearing their baby, but I was not able to come close to mastering that.

Disposable breast pads: Yes, I used cloth at home, but I was not wanting to worry myself about washing cloth breast pads.

A blanket: When Charis was a month old, we were still getting used to breastfeeding, so I would hold her close to me and hold her with a blanket.  I would pull the blanket up or go into another room if she was getting distracted.  Later, I did not need to have a blanket with me, but I was thankful to have it on the trip to PA.

A few other tips:

  • Stop and nurse when your baby starts crying.  
  • Plan for extra time.  Our usual five hour trip, took 6 1/2 hours.
  • Bring water and food.  Buying good, healthy food is harder to do when you're traveling and you still need plenty of calories.
  • Also beware of holiday weaning.  I can happen at anytime, not just during the holidays.
What tips do you have when traveling with a breastfed baby?
Link up at Sisters N Cloth.

28 November 2012

Ribbed Lace Bolero {Yarn Along}

I finished knitting my sister's hat, but now I need to sew in the ends and then block it around a plate so that I can make it a little more slouchy.  And I'm dragging my feet to do this.  Why?  This is my least favorite part when knitting a project.  Once I cast off, I would love to be finished, but that's not the case.

Now, I'm knitting the Ribbed Lace Bolero.  I'm only on the ribbing. Though I must admit to being confused by this:
row 2: p1 (p1, p1 into first yo, p1 into the back of the second yo, p1) repeat lace pattern until 1 stitch left, p1
Any help would be appreciated.  Though, I realize I'm probably over thinking.

I finished listening to Prisoner of Birth and highly recommend it, it's a modern day version of The Count of Monte Cristo.  Now, I want to reread The Count of Monte Cristo.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

Baby Girl {Green Christmas Gift Giveaway Hop}

Welcome to the Green Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Happy Mothering, Going Green with Grizls and The Reynolds Mom. 50+ members of the Green Moms Network have come together to offer you tons of chances to win green-themed Christmas gifts! There’s sure to be something for everyone on your list. We hope you’ll discover some great new brands to add to your Christmas list too! Below my entry form, you'll see the other giveaways to enter as well as information about entering to win the Grand Prize!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I secretly hoped for a girl.  Why?  Because girls are so much easier to dress than boys.  I can put her in any color, pink, purple, yellow, blue, green, etc.  So, you can imagine my reaction when BumGenius came out with their new prints last year.

I wanted to get my hands on the Lovelace diaper, which I did, but then won another diaper at the Monday night #clothdiapers Twitter chat.  I chose to get Lovelace again, but to be honest, it's been sitting in the closet in it's original packaging for the last two months because I tell myself, "Why did I get another Lovelace print?  I already have it."  I decided to add it to the giveaway package for the Green Christmas Giveaway Hop. It's a small way of passing it forward.  God has blessed us in so many ways, and I realize I do not need two diapers in the same print. a Rafflecopter giveaway Our hosts are featuring 5 fabulous grand prize packages from these green and natural brands: For Your Bug-a-Boo, Blue Manatee Boxes, Bulk Herb Store, Snug Bug Diapers, Nosefrida, My Pretty Playhouse, Wonder Forge, Kelly Kits, Kerrific Online, LibreTea, Grounds for Change, Zulka Sugar, Justin's Nut Butters, Better Life, ReuseIt, Strawesome, generationMe, Soybu, Purely Gorgeous, A Mothers Design, Dr. Bronner's and Xmittens!. Click here to enter the grand prize.

26 November 2012

Pretty Mommies Skin Care {Giveaway}

Pretty Mommies Safe Skincare for Pregnant and Nursing Moms
Did you know it's important to use safe skincare while you're pregnant and breastfeeding?
The Blogging Mamas Network and Pretty Mommies have come together to bring you important information about safe skincare during these special times AND to offer you a chance to win 1 of 4 sets of Pretty Mommies Skincare!
Pretty Mommies Skin Care is an all-natural, physician-based maternity skin care line that has raised the bar to become the new standard in safety and efficacy for pregnant and nursing women.
Pretty Mommies Safe Skincare for Pregnant and Nursing Moms
  • Pretty Mommies not only addresses the challenges due to the hormonal changes associated with motherhood, but also sets a new standard of safety for you and your baby.
  • Contains ingredients such as Rose Hip, Vitamin C, Aloe, Green Tea, Red Tea, Squalane (derived from Olives) and Trichloma Matsutake Singer Extract (Japanese Mushroom).
  • Each ingredient has a specific natural skin care benefit.
All Pretty Mommies Products Are:
  • Formaldehyde FREE
  • Paraben FREE
  • Artificial Fragrance FREE
  • Phthalate FREE
  • Dimethicone FREE
  • Petroleum FREE
  • Ammonium FREE
  • Sulfate FREE
  • Phenoxyethanol FREE
  • Oxybenzone FREE
  • Colorant (Coal Tar Dye) FREE
  • Idebenone FREE
  • Imidazalidol Urea FREE
  • Mineral Oil FREE
  • Methylisothiazolinone FREE
  • Aluminum FREE
  • BHA and BHT FREE
  • DMAE Dimethylaminoethanol FREE
  • Phenonip FREE
  • Talc FREE
  • Triclosan FREE
  • Hydroquinone FREE
Pretty Mommies is a 3 step skin care line - including a cleanser, a skin brightener, and a sunscreen. Although it's specifically formulated to deal with the hormonal imbalances of pregnancy and nursing, EVERYONE can benefit from it's natural ingredients.
To learn even more about each of the 3 products, read the detailed Pretty Mommies Review on According to Jenny.
The Pretty Mommies Skincare Line is available on the Pretty Mommies Website and through selected Physicians Offices. The set retails for $158 or each product can be purchased separately.
Pretty Mommies has recently partnered up with the BabyLove Project - a subscription sampling service that gives new and expecting mothers access to healthy beauty and skincare products in an innovative way. They're currently surveying new and expectant moms, so if that's you - they would love your feedback on this survey!
Pretty Mommies Safe Skincare for Pregnant and Nursing Moms


Pretty Mommies Safe Skincare for Pregnant and Nursing Moms Giveaway
This giveaway is open to US/CAN residents, 18+ only. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 10th.
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter Form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Special thanks to Hosts According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, An Ordinary Housewife, and other Pretty Mommy Bloggers! Event bloggers are not responsible for Sponsor Prize Shipment.

21 November 2012

Mod Cables Slouchy Hat {Yarn Along}

WARNING: If you are a family member, stop reading this blog post or you MAY find out what you'll be getting for Christmas from me.  Thanks.  

I finishes listening to The Silver Chair on Monday. Even though I have read The Silver Chair before, there were a few allusions I missed to the Bible.  Both come from Chapter 2. 

The first is when Jill was talking with Aslan and he told her to drink from the stream, but she would not drink.  Aslan then told her she would die.  Jill told Aslan she will go off in search of other water.  Aslan stated, "There is no other stream," said the Lion.  This passage reminded me of John 4:13-14: 
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The was allusion I missed was when Jill was talking to Aslan and she asked how could Aslan have called her.
 "I was wondering - I mean - could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to - to Somebody - it was a name I wouldn't know - and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open.’
 "You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.
This reminds me of salvation.  God called those he would save since the foundations of the world, and it's only because of Him that we call on His name.

I borrowed an audio version of Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer, but have not yet started listening to it.  I'll start on the way to Pennsylvania tonight, when Drew and I leave.  I have read one other book by Archer {Sons of Fortune} and enjoyed it very much, so I'm hoping to enjoy this one as well.

I am still knitting Christmas gifts.  So, if you're a family member, do not look or read any further.  I'm knitting the Mod Cables Slouchy Hat, designed by Life in Cleveland. This hat will be given to my sister; she requested a hat, and I chose this one because she lives in Ohio, near Cleveland. I'm knitting it with Paton's Classic Wool, but I don't think Saundy will mind getting a hat she has to handwash. I'll just have to give her very clear instructions on how to care for it.

I'm currently at Starbucks waiting for Drew to get off work, so we can drive to PA.  We'll probably get in around 2 AM.  I'm hoping and praying our trip out is not like last year's trip.  {Read Number 2 for a quick reminder.}  FYI, I have found I like a caramel brulee latte best with 1 1/2-2 pumps, instead of all three.  Usually, I get a plain latte, so I'm not used to all the sugar.

What are you knitting or reading?
Join my over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

15 November 2012

Holiday Weaning {#BFBlogHop}

With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, nursing mothers need to watch out for Holiday weaning and how to avoid it.  Holiday weaning occurs when babies decrease their breastfeeding or wean altogether due to the business and distraction of the holidays.  During the holidays, mothers are usually busier preparing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve.  Because of this babies are not fed as often, which causes a decrease in breast milk supply.  Remember that breastfeeding is a supply and demand issue.  So, if you are not nursing as often, your supply will decrease.  Holiday weaning does not just happen around Christmas, it can happen at any time.

Another reason Holiday weaning may occur is because babies are surrounded by people they don't know, and they won't settle down.  The first Thanksgiving after Charis' birth was horrible.  We arrived in PA around 1 AM and went to Drew's extended family's Thanksgiving festivities.  Charis cried for THREE hours straight; I ended up crying in the bathroom, nothing I tried worked.  I tried breastfeeding her, held her, bounced her up and down, prayed with her, and sang with her, and repeated this over and over again.  What eventually worked was asking Aunt Kim if I could give Charis a bath.  Charis LOVES baths and it calmed her down so that she nursed and then napped for 1 1/2 hours.

A few tips to avoid Holiday weaning due to the increased business:

  • If need be, excuse yourself from the room to nurse.  You may not have to do this, but if your baby is overstimulated by everything going on, find a quiet place and nurse your baby.
  • Breastfeed before going out in the comfort of your home.
  • Take shorter shopping trips.
  • Buy gifts online. This will allow you to stay home.
  • If family members offer to feed the baby a bottle, politely decline and let them know you're breastfeeding.
What tips do you have on continuing to breastfeed through the holidays?
Link up at Sister's N Cloth for the #BFBlogHop.

14 November 2012

Christmas Knitting and a Dilemma {Yarn Along}

Yesterday, one my my friends reminded me that Christmas is 6 weeks away; thanks for the reminder Lisa.

I still need to seven gifts, some of them I'm halfway there, but others I haven't even started.  The last gift I started is going to be for one of the men in my life, but I'm not going to say which one.  They might be reading this blog.  It's going VERY quickly. What is shown, I spent less than 10 minutes on, but that's what happens when a project calls for bulky yarn.  The downside is, the yarn I picked has 75% acrylic/25% wool.  Why did I pick it?  Some people don't like handwashing, and I'm afraid that will be the case with the recipient, so I'll suffer as I knit it.

I need help on deciding on a yarn color.  A friend of mine is pregnant, and our church is having a baby shower for her December 8th.  She's planning on using cloth diapers, loves knitting and wool, so I figured, I would knit her baby some newborn wool longies. But, she doesn't know the sex of her baby, so I want to pick a gender neutral color. I'd be perfectly fine putting both of these colors below on a girl and probably a boy, but for those who have boys would you prefer one over the other.

I checked out The Silver Chair CDs from the library yesterday, which I'll be listening to today.  On Wednesdays, I'm usually in the car over two hours.  I drive down to VA, which takes about 50 minutes, and then drive to prayer meeting in MD, which takes about 1 hour 10 minutes.  I get tired of listening to WTOP.

What are you knitting or reading?  
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

13 November 2012

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

Another week has passed where God has been good.  I don't deserve his riches, but I'm thankful for what He has done, even in the little everyday things.

November 6: I am actually thankful for the election pamphlets that we were given, not because they made me more educated, but because they were a very good distraction to my daughter while waiting in line to vote. Now, these will go in the recycle bin.

The literature that was recycled.
Charis kept saying, "4. 6. 5. F. E. M. S."
She's recognizing a lot of numbers and letters.

LOVE this picture of Drew and Charis
as we left our polling place.

Sitting on leaves, enjoying the sunshine.

I hope to make copies of this picture
and send it to Grandad
in Northern Ireland.

November 7: I am thankful that I have been getting more work accomplished on my daughter's longies.

November 8: I'm thankful for the walk my daughter and I were able to take today to the library, park, and post office.

Not the clearest picture, but
I love the joy and enthusiasm
written on Charis's face.
If my granny was still alive, I'd be hearing that my
daughter NEEDS to keep her hair out
of her face.

Those are longies I made for her last winter.
November 9: Thankful to finally pull out the stove and be able to clean the floor underneath it. Let's just say that was gross.

November 10: I thought I posted one for yesterday, but it didn't post. I was thankful Drew ate the spaghetti squash I made and liked it.

November 11: Thankful my daughter and I were able to make banana bread tonight.

November 12: Thankful that my husband is home safe and that God has provided him with his job.

What are you thankful for?
Link up at Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday.

08 November 2012

Pumping and Storing Breastmilk {#BFBlogHop}

I went back to work PRN when my daughter was 6 weeks 3 days old.  Needless to say, it was hard.  I wanted to avoid giving Charis formula.  I bought a manual pump to try and get all the liquid gold I could and save it up in the freezer.  Looking back, the biggest thing I would have done differently would be to buy a double electric breast pump, preferably a Hygeia breast pump.  On my first day back, I had about 30-40 ounces of breast milk in the freezer; Charis drank over 20 ounces.  I was only able to pump 8-10 ounces while at work, because I could get off the floor once.  Before leaving the floor, I always washed my hands and would wash them again when arriving in the employee pumping room on Labor and Delivery.

I used Lansinoh freezer bags and labeled them with how much I pump and on what date the milk was pumped.  I immediately put the bags in the freezer when I returned home.  I asked Many FB respondents stated to use bags and lay them down for easier storage and to help with space.

La Leche League International's Storage Guidelines are:
Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:
  • at room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C) for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
  • in a refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C) for 72 hours (ideal), up to 8 days (acceptable if collected in a very clean, careful way)
  • in a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C) for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)
Since I did not have to work full time, last night on my Facebook page I asked, "Do any of you have any tips for pumping and storing breastmilk?"  Most of those who responded recommended laying breast milk storage bags down for easier storage, helping preserve space, and easier thawing.  Another stated,
I use the Milkies milk catcher. So, every time I let down when I nurse, I get 1-2 oz of milk, on the non-nursing side, that is caught. As soon as i get a bottles worth, it goes in a storage bag in the freezer. So, I don't have to pump! I have tons of milk in the freezer just from collecting milk all day!

Did you pump breastmilk?  If so, what tips do you recommend? 
Join us at Sisters 'N Cloth for this weeks #BFBlogHop.
Next week's topic is on "Breastfeeding and Holiday Challenges".

07 November 2012

Kanoko Pants {Yarn Along}

Charis's Kanoko pants have been on the backburner the last few weeks due to knitting Christmas gifts, but yesterday, I picked them up and knit a gusset, did a kitchener stitch, and am knitting one of the legs.  Unfortunately, I can't show pictures of those knitting projects due to family reading my blog.

Kanoko Pants
Yarn for Christmas knitting

I am not reading too much these days due to knitting during free time, instead of reading.  I am reading Colossians for my own devotions.

I'm looking for tips on teaching someone to knit.  One of my friends asked if I could teach her, and I've NEVER taught anyone to knit, so I don't know where to start.  My mum taught me how to cast on, knit, and purl, everything else I learned from KnittingHelp.com.  Do any of you have tips on where to start?  Please help.  I'm going to her house on Friday.

What are you knitting or reading?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

06 November 2012

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

Everyday on my Facebook page, I've been writing what I'm thankful for.  Why do I do this?  Because it's good to daily give thanks for the good things God has given me, even if it's small.

November 1: I'm thankful for my vacuum cleaner. Yes, I was vacuuming about 30 minutes ago. 

November 2: I'm thankful my daughter still takes naps.

November 3: I'm thankful for bridal showers and friends who were recently married.

November 4: Thankful I have a daughter who wakes me up an hour earlier due to falling back an hour. I'm especially mindful of this because there are many people who want children, but aren't able to.

November 5: Thankful for the Trader Joe's cashier handing my daughter stickers. Yes, it's the simple things in life that I'm thankful for as well. 

What are you thankful for?
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.

01 November 2012

Sleeping Through the Night with Breastfed Babies {#BFBlogHop}

After Charis was born, the first few weeks I felt like I was up 24/7.  Breastfeeding morning, noon, and night. I thought to myself, "I'm never going to get any sleep again."  Friends would tell me, I would once again sleep, but I didn't believe them. The first time Charis slept 3-4 hours at night, I woke up feeling like a brand new person.  It wasn't until recently that Charis slept 12+ hours on a regular basis.  I now believe my friends that told me, that this was a season, not my whole life.  There were some things that helped me feel rested:

  • Feeding Charis right before going to bed.  I noticed Charis would often not sleep a longer stretch when doing this.
  • Try to fill Charis during day.  When Charis started solid food, she would start playing and forget to nurse, so I tried to nurse who every three hours during the day, which helped ensure she would not wake up as much at night.
  • Cosleep.  I wouldn't have to get out of bed.  I lifted and unsnapped my shirt and fell asleep while Charis nursed.
  • Change her diaper before feeding.  If I waited until afterwards, Charis would wake up screaming, and I'd have to spend time with a screaming, crying baby trying to put her to sleep again.
Do you have any suggestions for having breastfed babies sleep through the night?
Join us for this week's #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth
Next week's topic is "Pumping and Storing Breastmilk".

Fuzzibunz One Size Elite Diaper {#ThankfulforFluff}

Happy November!!  This is one of my favorite months.  Why?  Because of Thanksgiving and being able to spend time with family and friends.  It's good to be reminded of the many good things God has given me, none of which I deserve.  I recently won two FuzziBunz One Size Elite Diaper-one in white and the other mint.  I have found the Fuzzibunz one size do not work as well for my daughter as other one size diapers.  So, I set them aside and will let the winner choose either the white or mint diaper.  Hope you have a good month and happy entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 October 2012

Photo of Charis and I {#BFBlogHop}

Breastfeeding pictures.  Did you take them or not?  I did not and have no regrets about it.  I love my daughter, and I breastfed her because breast milk is best for babies, cheap okay free, and easy.  But, I also don't need breastfeeding photographs to show of my love for her.  This week, I'll be linking up a few photographs of just the two of us.

March 2011: Charis ready for bed after getting a bath.
October 2011: Sleepy Charis. We were in PA to surprise
my mum for her birthday, and I woke her up, hence the
groggy look she has.
January 2012: Still breastfeeding
August 2012: After she was weaned and enjoying a
hot, humid Maryland summer day.
Did you have photographs taken while breastfeeding your children?

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